thedarkroome stands up as Bald Is Beautiful.org correspondent, Sharon Blynn, reports from STAND UP 2 CANCER simulcast! With a full Slideshow of the day at the end of this piece!
So when, at the end of July, I got the save-the-date email about the upcoming SU2C telecast, I just had to find a way to attend! Well, within two weeks, through a series of emails and a friend’s referral to someone in New York who worked with the people there that worked for the organization in Los Angeles that owned the dog that bit the cat that ate the mouse that ate the cheese … I got an invite in the mail. “I’m in!” I shouted in my apartment … all by myself.
This year’s telecast was held at the historic Shrine Auditorium, in the heart of the USC campus. It’s the beginning of the semester, so the air is filled with a palpable stew of youthful excitement, adventure, aspiration, freedom, anticipation of hard work and serious play, diving head-first into the Unknown. Fitting energies to envelope this venue and event.
Since it’s a live telecast, we had to be in our seats at precisely 4:30, so we headed into the auditorium with about 12 minutes to spare. We were so excited to be ushered all the way down to the 10th row! I wanted to snap some pics at the stage — it was way too close to resist — so I wandered over and snapped a few as quickly and inconspicuously as possible. On my way back to our seats, I helped a guy take a photo of him with his buddies in the front row. There were two empty seats next to him (hmmmm…). I inquired, we chatted, and they offered their empty seats to us. I waved Christine over and there we were, right up front! The magic of the evening continues!
Lights down. “20 seconds!” the disembodied voice bellowed. I felt like we were waiting to be launched into the stars in a rocket! 5-4-3-2-1 … The floating screen in the middle of the stage fades up to a tape of Matt Damon. He talks about his dad, a cancer survivor. Then he turns to his right (“Cancer even picked up fight with this guy!”), and the camera pans to Michael Douglas, throat cancer survivor. “Cancer didn’t bring me to my knees. It brought me to my feet!” In those words is the spirit of all cancer warriors!
The production seamlessly wove celebrity presenters with lovingly-produced video vignettes of passionate doctors talking about their work and new discoveries, and cancer warriors sharing their touching and inspiring stories — some of whom were in the audience and we all got to literally stand up and cheer for them!
Overall, the program was an efficient, effective, and moving fundraising and awareness event. With a good balance of the live and taped components, celebrity appeal, and the real-life heroes in the doctors, scientists, patients, survivors, and warriors who have passed away, for whom this night was happening all for them.
In our lives – personal and professional, at work or at play — we are going to be called to our edge, maybe even pushed beyond it. And we will make a choice. To lay down or stand up, for ourselves or for someone else. To make the world better. To reach toward our infinite and highest potential. I know what I’m gonna do. How about you? Will you stand up?
For more information about Stand Up 2 Cancer, go to http://su2c.standup2cancer.org/ .